In brief: Croatian findings from EU Kids Online 2020

The survey included 1,017 children aged 9 to 17 and their parents, with the participation of a parent who was more familiar with the digital habits of their children; 78.4% of the parent participants were mothers. More than three-quarters of children use the internet every weekday. Children, as well as their parents, mostly access the internet via a mobile phone or smartphone. Children spend more time ‘hanging out’ and having fun with their friends face-to-face rather than via online activities. The results show that most of the children aged 9 to 17 use the internet at least once a week for educational purposes both at school and at home.

Some parents are not very familiar with their children’s online activities. Almost every fifth child between the ages of 9 and 17 points out that their parents ‘never’ or ‘almost never’ talk to them about what they do on the internet. This is not surprising given that two-thirds of parents think that children are more proficient than them in using new technologies. Parents talk more often with younger children about online activities. When it comes to monitoring internet usage, parents most often check websites their child has visited, their messages on email or other applications, and view their profiles on social networks. Children who have troublesome experiences on the internet are more likely to ignore advice from their parents. In addition to rarely receiving parental support for internet usage, the research shows that they also rarely get support from teachers. Older children are more likely to be supported by teachers in using the internet than younger children.


  • Almost every third child between the ages of 9 and 17 communicated online with someone they did not go on to meet in person. There are more boys (34%) than girls (27%) among this group, with 50% in the 15–17 age group. Only 13% of the parents knew that their child had had contact with a person on the internet they had not had face-to-face contact with before; 14% met offline with a person they had met online. This increases with age, so in this group the majority are children aged 15 to 17 (27%), then children aged from 12 to 14 (12%), and finally, 3% of the youngest children (aged 9 to 11).
  • Thirty per cent of children aged 9 to 17 have seen sexual content online. Among them, over two-thirds have seen sexual photos or films with nudity on the internet in the past year, despite having no intention of seeing such content, while almost a fifth have seen such content intentionally. 
  • Croatian national report: Ciboci, L., Ćosić Pregrad, I., Kanižaj, I., Potočnik, D. & Vinković, D. (2020). Nacionalno istraživanje sigurnosti djece i mladih na internetu – HR Kids Online. Zagreb: Društvo za komunikacijsku i medijsku kulturu.


Ciboci, L., Ćosić Pregrad, I., Kanižaj, I., Potočnik, D. & Vinković, D. (2020). Nacionalno istraživanje sigurnosti djece i mladih na internetu – HR Kids Online. Zagreb: Društvo za komunikacijsku i medijsku kulturu.

Ćosić, I. (2005). Results presentation on research into the experience of children who use the Internet; Regional conference „Dangers of paedophilia", Human rights office, Zagreb.

Potočnik, D. (2006) Possessing and Usage of Informational and Communicational Technology, in: Youth between Wishes and Opportunities. Zagreb: Zagreb County and Institute for Social Research.

Potočnik, D. (2007) Youth and New Technologies, in: Ilišin, V.; Radin, F. (ed.) Youth: a Problem or a Resource. Zagreb: Institute for Social Research.

Profaca, B., Ćosić, I. (2005) Child and Internet Risks. List of topics for class lessons (ed. Bilić, V.), Naklada Ljevak, Zagreb


Igor Kanizaj

Igor Kanižaj, PhD is Associate Professor at the Faculty of Political Science, Department of Journalism and Media Production, University of Zagreb. His research areas are: media and children, media and violence, print media, media and diversity. He is vice president of the Association for Communication and Media Culture ( that runs the project Igor is one of the authors of the first public opinion research on Media Literacy in Croatia and editor of the interdisciplinary scientific journal Medijske studije/Media studies. He is also co-author of UNESCOs Paris Declaration on Media and Information Literacy in Digital Era.


Lana Ciboci, PhD, is a Vice-dean for Scientific Affairs and Quality Management at the Edward Bernays College for Communication Management. She is a Vice-president of the Association for Communication and Media Culture within which the project "Children of the media" was implemented. Lana is one of the authors of the first public opinion study on Media Literacy in Croatia and editor-in-chief of the scientific journal Communication Management Review.

Ivana Cosic Pregrad

Ivana Ćosić Pregrad is a psychologist, working at the Child Protection Centre of Zagreb. She is a programme coordinator at the counselling centre for children and parents. Ivana is working on the UNICEF project on child electronic abuse. She is an author of several scientific and expert papers.

Dunja Potocnik

Dunja Potočnik, PhD, is a sociologist at the Institute for Social Research. She works on youth and new technologies, youth unemployment, social structure, intergenerational mobility, youth policy and science and higher education policy. Dunja has written one book, 18 scientific and many expert papers. 

Dejan Vinkovic

Dejan Vinković holds a PhD in Astrophysics. He teaches at the Faculty of Natural Sciences and Mathematics in Split, Croatia and manages the Science and Society Synergy Institute in Čakovec, Croatia. He has written many scientific and expert papers. His main field of expertise, besides astrophysics, includes computational sciences. He also works on science and educational policy. 


Association for Communication and Media Culture, Zagreb, Croatia